Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Japan to bar foreign visitors as Omicron worries grow globally

TOKYO/SYDNEY — Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, will close its borders to all foreigners, while Australia’s plans to reopen to skilled migrants were also in doubt as nations scrambled on Monday to rein in the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Markets regained some composure as investors await more details of the variant following a freefall last week after news of its emergence ignited fears that fresh curbs could upend a nascent economic revival from a two-year pandemic.

Potentially more contagious than prior variants, Omicron, first identified in South Africa, has been found in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa.

It could take “days to several weeks” to understand the level of severity of the variant, says the World Health Organization (WHO), which has dubbed it a “variant of concern.”

Japan will close its borders to all foreigners from Tuesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

“We are (taking measures) with a strong sense of crisis,” he had told reporters earlier, although no Omicron infections have yet been found in Japan.

Australia is to review plans to reopen from Dec. 1 to skilled migrants and students, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, adding it was a “bit too early” to reinstate two-week hotel quarantine for foreign travelers.

“So we just take this one step at a time, get the best information, make calm, sensible decisions,” Mr. Morrison told broadcaster Nine News.

A national security panel was set to meet later in the day to assess border easing due from Wednesday, he added, while leaders of states and territories were set to meet.

Mr. Morrison called for calm as the severity, transmissibility and vaccine resistance of Omicron had not been determined, echoing remarks by the WHO.

Symptoms of Omicron are so far mild and could be treated at home, a South African doctor, one of the first to suspect a different variant, has said.

TRAVEL CURBS
Countries from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia have imposed travel curbs for visitors from southern Africa.

Singapore has deferred the start of vaccinated travel lanes with Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in view of their role as “transport nodes” for affected countries, its health ministry said.

The wealthy southeast Asian city-state and neighboring Malaysia reopened their land border, one of the world’s busiest, allowing vaccinated travelers to cross after a shutdown that lasted nearly two years.

Britain said it would call an urgent meeting of G7 (Group of Seven) health ministers on Monday.

In the most far-reaching effort against the variant, Israel is to ban the entry of foreigners and re-introduce counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology, it has said.

South Africa has denounced the measures as unfair and potentially harmful to the economy, saying it was being punished for its scientific ability to identify variants early.

“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

“The only thing (it) will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond.”

President Joseph R. Biden will give an update on the variant and the US response on Monday, the White House said in a statement.

It will take about two weeks to get definitive information about the transmissibility and other features of Omicron, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases official, has told Mr. Biden, it added.

Mr. Fauci believes existing vaccines “are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID,” the White House said. — Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

A market vendor arranges assorted vegetables inside the Quinta Market in Manila, Sept. 19. Vegetable prices continued to rise in November. — PHILIPPINE STAR/...

News

More policemen are deployed in Divisoria, Manila as the shopping area is expected to draw bigger crowds ahead of the holidays, Dec. 1. —...

News

PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter A PROPOSED MEASURE seeks to require National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approval...

News

BW FILE PHOTO THE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION of the Philippines (MAP) is seeking the creation of a public-private sector advisory council for various sectors, in...

News

UNSPLASH THE HOLIDAYS shouldn’t be used as an excuse to binge-eat, warned a dietitian.  Christmas is just around the corner and with it comes...

News

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) has secured a certificate of exemption from the Department of Energy (DoE) from the competitive selection process (CSP) for the...

You May Also Like

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.